The band succeeded the ruff as the ordinary civil costume. The lawyers, who now retain bands, and the clergy, who have only lately left them off, formerly wore ruffs.
"In the early sixteenth century "bands" referred to the shirt neck-band under a ruff. For the rest of the century, when ruffs were still worn, and in the seventeenth century, band referred to all the variations of these neckwear. All bands or collars arose from a standing neck-band of varying heights. They were tied at the throat with band-strings ending in tiny tassels or crochet-covered balls.
"Bands were adopted for legal, official, ecclesiastical and academical use in the mid-seventeenth century. They varied from those worn by priests (very long, of cambric or linen, and reaching over the chest), to the much shorter ecclesiastical bands of black gauze with white hem showing on the outside. Both were developments of the seventeenth century lay collar.
"Bands varied from small white turn-down collars and ruffs to point lace bands, depending upon fashion, until mid-seventeenth century when plain white bands came to be invariable neck-wear of all judges, serjeants, barristers, students and clerical and academical men.
"The bands are two strips of bleached holland or similar material, falling down the front from the collar. Plain linen 'falling bands', developed from the falling collar, replaced the ruff about 1640. By 1650 they were universal. Originally in the form of a wide collar, tied with a lace in front, by the 1680's they had diminished to the traditional form of two rectangles of linen tied at the throat."
"The neckband of a shirt, smock, or partlet. Also collar (standing band). Bands could be 'plain' (without ornament or lace), 'falling' or rabat (French, worn normally turned down), or 'ruff bands' (which were pleated and stiffened). In a 'falling' band, the 'stock' or 'strip' of the ruff was fastened to the shirt by pins and the collar or band made fit the neck by darts or 'clocks'. De Medici ruffs were fastened to the shirt in the same method but were supported in an upright position by a starched or wired support (supportasse) and left open. Bands and ruffs were considered the dress of the gentry and anyone who did not wear them was considered a ruffian. Bands and ruffs were usually white but during the latter half of the 16th Century, colors were added to the starches. Red, blue, purple, and goose-turd green are mentioned but yellow seemed to be the most popular. The ties that were used to fasten the band closed were known as 'band strings' and were usually tasseled at the end."
in Aqua Scripto • Link
" Bands and ruffs were considered the dress of the gentry and anyone who did not wear them was considered a ruffian. Bands and ruffs "
ruffian = hood lum [lum scot for chimney]
ruff = high pleated collar
collar = nab a ruffian
hood = be a cowl [ one who [wears] cowled] or maybe it be a wimple
Bands be a group of hoodlums
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.